Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Orphan Collector” by Ellen Marie Wiseman, Kensington Publishing, July 2020
WOW!!! Ellen Marie Wiseman, author of “The Orphan Collector” has written an enthralling, memorable, riveting, captivating, intense, intriguing, heart-breaking, and thought-provoking novel. The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Fiction, with Suspense. The timeline for this novel is around 1918 and goes to the past when it pertains to the events or characters. The story takes place mostly in Philadelphia during the deadly Spanish Flu Pandemic and around the time of World War One. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. There are contrasts between good and evil, wealth and poverty, and helpful people vs. those who use the circumstances for their own benefits or believes. This was also a time of fear, and bigotry against immigrants.
The author describes her dramatic characters as trying to survive terrible obstacles. Between the epidemic of the flu, poverty, loss of family, and war these were tragic times. Some people were brave, courageous, and kind, and other people were mean-spirited, selfish, and bigoted. Many were frightened.
Ellen Marie Wiseman vividly describes the tragic pandemic and effects on families and society. Unfortunately, this hits so close to home today. I have fears of seeing how people behaved at the Philadelphia Parade and pray that this doesn’t happen again in modern times.
Pia Lange is a German immigrant who lives in a poor area in Philadelphia. Her German father is fighting for the U.S. Army in the war. Pia is left with her two twin baby brothers and is forced to look for food. Bernice Groves is a widowed neighbor who has lost her baby to the Spanish Influenza. Bernice blames all the immigrants for her problems. Bernice sees Pia leave her apartment. Bernice comes up with an unscrupulous, immoral, and sinful plan, that affects so many lives.
I highly recommend this thought-provoking and intriguing novel, especially for readers who enjoy Historical Fiction.